Imagining the Divine: Art and the Rise of World Religions

Event date
30 Nov 2017 to 18 Feb 2018
Event time
10:00 - 5:00
Ashmolean Museum
Beaumont Street
Venue details

Exhibition Galleries

Event type
Event cost
£11/£10 concessions
Disabled access?
Booking required

Between 1–1000 AD, systems of belief developed across Europe and Asia. The images associated with them were forged not in isolation but in a vibrant exchange of ideas and in the contact between different societies and local traditions. One of the earliest known depictions of Christ shows a young man bearing a striking resemblance to a classical god, not the bearded holy-man we know today. Before the invention of the cross-legged figure in meditation, the Buddhist faithful were inspired to worship merely by an impression of the Buddha’s footprints.

This unprecedented exhibition showcases some of the world’s oldest religious art from India to Ireland, and reveals how the exchange of ideas and objects in the first millennium influence our thinking about the Divine today. On display will be the first known depiction of Christ north of the Alps, as well as some of the first surviving Qurans.

This exhibition is ticketed. Entry is free for Ashmolean Members.